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Grateful Dead Live at The Ark on 1969-04-23

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Grateful Dead Live at The Ark on 1969-04-23

Topics Live concert

He Was A Friend Of Mine, Dark Star-> Saint Stephen-> It's A Sin-> Saint Stephen-> Cryptical Envelopment-> Drums-> The Other One-> Cryptical Envelopment-> Sitting On Top Of The World-> Turn On Your Love Light Morning Dew, Hard To Handle, Doin' That Rag, Alligator-> Drums-> Jam-> The Eleven-> Jam-> Alligator-> Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)-> Feedback-> And We Bid You Good Night, E: It's All Over Now Baby Blue

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue The Ark
Location Boston, MA

Source Soundboard
Lineage MSR > Cassette > DATs > CDRs > EAC > SHN
Taped by
Transferred by Jim Wise, Dr. Rob Bertrando, Darrin Sacks


MSR> Cassette> DATs> CDRs> EAC >SHN; via Jim Wise, Rob Bertrando, Darrin Sacks; note this reportedly may be an upgrade compared to previously etreed version; same cuts and splices as in previous version; note d1 tracked for 80 min


Reviewer: araucaria78 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2016
Subject: I was there
This was the first Grateful Dead concert I ever went to, back when I was 17. I only knew them from Anthem of the Sun, so most of the songs were completely unfamiliar to me (and "He was a Friend of Mine" is the first song I ever heard them play!). I think it cost $2.50 to get in, and there were maybe 200 people there at most, so nobody was getting rich. The Ark was a classic psychedelic dungeon, with day-glo paint everywhere, odd little alcoves, and no seats. It was the perfect place to see the Dead.
Reviewer: Pelke - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2013
Subject: Friend of Mine
I know not everyone is a big fan of "He was a Friend of Mine", but I just love this one. Jerry's guitar sounds so sweet and the harmony on the singing blows me away. I almost have a tear rolling out of my eye!

The rest of the show rocks, too. Personally, this is my favorite of the three Ark shows. I love the '69 style Morning Dew with the cresendoing of the symbols. My only disappointment was the break in St. Stephen. It started off so nicely -- wish it had gone straight through.

Otherwise, one of my favorites!
Reviewer: NightfallofDiamonds - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 17, 2008
Subject: hard to handle
This show cakes my icing, filets my filets,drums my beat. yup. and more. Alligator runnin round my cabin door.
Reviewer: Merle211 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 11, 2008
Subject: It's a Sin
I was surprised to see the same Stephen>It's a Sin jam St. Louis 4-17-69. So why does everyone think Jerry caught the band off-guard on this night?
Reviewer: Almanac1951 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 17, 2008
Subject: Tape flips and "There Is A Mountain"
Addressing the speculation about the quote from "There Is A Mountain:" The post that states that Donovan's record came out in July of '68 is incorrect. The single of "There Is A Mountain" was released nearly a year earlier than that, in August, '67. The very latest that the Dead could have started quoting the song would be late March of '68, because that's when they finished the live recording that would be blended with studio tracks to create "Anthem of the Sun." You can clearly hear Jerry quoting the theme in the jam that follows "Alligator," beginning at around 9:01 into the track and going until about 9:18. So there's really no doubt as to whether the GD or the Allman Brothers Band was quoting "Mountain" first, as the ABB wasn't officially formed until March of 1969.

As to whether there is a tape flip between "St. Stephen" and "It's A Sin:" If there was, it was repaired with some VERY skilled tape editing, as TC can be heard playing the descending organ line that would normally lead to the "ladyfinger..." bridge in "Stephen," at the very same time that Jerry is starting the intro to "Sin." It sounds to me like Garcia, in a mood to mix things up, simply decided to see how the songs would work in sandwich mode, and jettisoned the bridge to "Stephen." In fact, he may have taken at least some of the band by surprise as well -- if you listen *very* carefully, just as Jerry is beginning the vocal on "Sin," you can hear Mickey hitting a couple of notes on the glockenspiel, which he typically used to play a unison with the lead vocal on the "ladyfinger..." part.
Reviewer: mgford25 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 9, 2008
Subject: a glimpse of one of the finest GD hours on tape
. . . there are many, too many to mention, but this is surely one of them. As of November 2007, a new set transferred by Charlie Miller has been circulating. It lists only the following anomalies:

Tape flip between St. Stephen and It's A Sin
Tape flip during The Eleven
Tape flip between Caution and Feedback

To give you some indication of how good this show is, I didn't hear any of them!

The second set, beginning with Morning Dew, is really mind blowing -- not just surprising, inspired, tight playing kind of mind blowing, either, like a lot of Dead from 69. Listen to Jerry's guitar licks in Hard To Handle, or the way the entire sequence starting with Alligator flows absolutely effortlessly, as if it couldn't be played any other way. On the Miller transfer, the Dew through AWBYGN fits on one disc -- 75 minutes of magic I'd be hard pressed to trade for any other single disc of Grateful Dead music. The crowd goes nuts after AWBYGN. Priceless.
Reviewer: spacedface - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2007
Subject: Abstractions throughout
This late-early period is really great...GDP could re-release the Fillmore package, and things like this run. This show is good but the cuts threw my flow off a bit.

By the way, someone mentioned a hint at Mountain Jam. The earliest one I've heard is 09 AlligatorReprise on 08-21-1968 at the Fillmore. It _is_ early because the song was released in July and went top 10. In his autobiography Donovan said he met the GD in LA while visiting his guru.
Reviewer: direwolf600 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 9, 2006
Subject: Miss Jer as much as ever
Incredible show - All I want to say right now is in regard to this segment Alligator> Drums> Caution> The Eleven> Alligator> Caution> Feedback> We Bid You Goodnight..

Simply jaw dropping/dripping raw primal GD. And when you get the Bid you Goodnight icing, Jerry's extra bursts of addrenaline prove to be the cherry. Man what a band. god bless jer

A number of cuts but a very strong recording all the same.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 27, 2006
Subject: Boston's not much of a college town
If anyone remembers that line from 'This is Spinal Tap' knows this city has more students than anyplace else in the country and I am sure they all rolled out for a show at this place which was legendary and I have been too umpteen times.

It does not get any better than this show as far as I am concerned... St.Stephen>it's a sin>St. Stephen??? The Ark is not far from St. Stephen street by the way... Dark Star is unbelievable as is the Other One.. Bonecrunchingly rowdy and good and I am sure it was weaty and hot and the boys were totally getting off from the rowdy crowd.
Reviewer: williscat2000 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2006
Subject: Excellent show
nice setlist, fun show. standard all around great quality.
Reviewer: ripcurldead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 20, 2006
Subject: TEA PARTY
Is That Jerry shredding this Hardle To Handle with a slide.. Check it out!!
Man... this is some hard acid rock, how fun!! I love these 3 nights, great set of 69 Dead Shows!!...
Reviewer: Dgold at AHT - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2005
Subject: Listening to every He Was A Friend Of Mine
This turned out to be one of the better versions of "He Was A Friend Of Mine" out of all the ones I could find on the Archive (GD, 66-70). This one is mid-length, mid-pace, electric and semi psychedelic. Sound quality is good.
Reviewer: skwimite - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2005
Subject: friend o mine
Certainly, one of the better versions of "He Was A Friend Of Mine" even though not a personal favorite. Strange/weird splice, whatever, with the "St. Stephen/It's A Sin" segment, but other than that, great sound quality. "Morning Dew" has alot of energy, as does "Hard To Handle", with more slide guitar than usual. Well done "Doin' That Rag". Alligator is a little sloppy, but "The Eleven" catches fire and flows nicely back into "Alligator" along with the AWBYG riff followed by Mt. Jam "tease". Caution is full of fits and starts, but listen to Mickey drumming for dear life. It's probably not a must have for alot of people, but it's virtually impossible for me to resist anything of this vintage with sound quality this good. This is a fine show. Solid 4 stars.
Reviewer: Mike Ashenfelder - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2004
Subject: Dark Star
An interesting "Dark Star," demonstrating how a performer can regain his balance after a setback.

Garcia's clearly having a problem with his equipment at the beginning and yells quite a bit in the background as the band plays on. Eventually the problem gets cleared up, Garcia comes in, "Dark Star" chugs on on autopilot and it could be a throwaway version, but after the verse the band takes the reins and works the weird energy into the song.
Reviewer: mtnjam2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 11, 2004
Subject: 1st ever Mountain Jam tease in d3t4
I saw the Dead before the Allman Brothers Band but always rated them equally as my two favorite bands of all time.. the history of the song Mountain Jam is a pet project of mine and this show ccontains what I believe to be the first recorded tease of the melody at 3:32 of d3t4. Did Jerry learn it from Duane or vice versa?? email me direct if anyone believes they have more info on that.
That track also contains a We Bid You Goodnight melody line played by Jerry.
Reviewer: thechaps57 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2004
Subject: Lap Steel Action
This may not be the bad-boy of April 21st, but a tasty frolic all the same. Check the lap steel Gram Parsons vibe on "He Was a Friend of Mine". Sound is also a step down from April 21st, but high quality indeed, esp. for the era. Recommended.
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/23/2004
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